Ahmedabad, 16 July 2019: This summer students from 9 IITs gathered at IIT Gandhinagar to ideate, prototype, and write provisional patent applications for inventions they generated during six weeks of intense work. These inventions addressed real societal or consumer needs and were designed to be feasible and practical in terms of safety, size, weight and cost.
Invent@IITGN is a 6-week annual summer program in inventing, based off a similar program in the United States (where it is called Invention Factory™). It was adopted by IITGN during the summer of 2018.
A total of 28 students were selected from nine IITs across the country including IIT Bombay, IIT Dhanbad, IIT Dharwad, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Goa, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, and IIT Palakkad. The students were divided into 14 teams of two members each. In these six-weeks, students conceived an invention, created a prototype, pitched the invention, and wrote a provisional patent application which they filed in India. Subsequently, they will also file a U.S. provisional patent application in the coming weeks.
The inventions include:
- Mr. Prabal Vashisht and Ms. Parul Sangwan, IIT Palakkadinvented a purely mechanical method to rotate rooftop solar panels to follow the sun; greatly increasing their efficiency without the need for motors or battery systems. The device is based on a mechanical clock; an ancient technology proven to be inexpensive, precise, and reliable. They won the“Best Invention”prize, earning a prize of Rs. 2 lakh.
- Ms. R. Nambilakshmi, IIT Bombay and Mr. Prathmesh Deshmukh, IIT Kharagpurinvented a leak-proof eco-friendly container for takeaway food. The container is designed to work better at each stage of the food delivery process – taking less storage space in a restaurant before it is used, being completely leak-proof during delivery, to being fully recyclable after it is used. They even designed a second, complementary device to carry their containers securely during delivery, eliminating the need for disposable bags. They won the prize of “Second Best Invention”, earning a prize of Rs. 1 lakh.
- Ms. Samruddhi Pataskar and Mr. Kalash Nibjiya, IIT Kharagpurinvented Spout-it; a system to attach a temporary spout to a plastic packet that is filled with a liquid such as milk, ghee, or oil. Spout-it snaps onto the corner of packet, puncturing it without spillage, and allowing the user to pour the liquid easily and store the unused portion within the packet securely. They won the prize of “Third Best Invention”, earning a prize of Rs. 50,000.
- Ritesh Ranjan, IIT Kharagpur and Saptarshi Sadhu, IIT Kharagpurinvented avacuum storage device for farmer’s carts.It is a method and mechanismto increase the shelf life of vegetables and fruits, without the use of refrigeration.
- Yash Raj, IIT Dhanbad and Govind V B, IIT Madrasinvented a device to monitor glucose level and ensure proper dose of insulin for diabetics. It is an automatic machine which can administer correct dosage of insulin based on blood glucose level.
- Aman Singhal, IIT Dharwad and Dinesh Jangid, IIT Bombayinvented a working prototype of a wheelchair add-on, which can help patients transfer themselves from a wheelchair to a toilet or bed.
- Sun Protect, a smart sun visor, which can improve driving comfort on sunny days by automatically tracking and blocking the point of brightest glare. This was invented bySouritra Garai and Jay Shah, IIT Gandhinagar.
- Arpita Kabra, IIT Gandhinagar and Lipika Gupta, IIT Guwahati invented an automatic pill dispenser and cognitive monitoring device. The pill-dispensing device unobtrusively tests the cognitive health of patients who may be developing dementia as a part of the normal operation of obtaining medicine.
- Priyanka Arora, IIT GoaandGitika Sonker, IIT Guwahati invented a smartwatch that monitors for dehydration and, if symptoms are detected, warn users to drink water.
- Anuj Singdi, IIT Madras and Jainam Shah, IIT Gandhinagarinvented a detachable and foldable basket for bicycles.
- Devyani Maladkar, IIT GoaandAishwarya Agarwal, IIT Bombayinvented an inexpensive device to clean reusable sanitary pads. The apparatus is a small mechanical washing machine.
- Neha Priolkar, IIT GandhinagarandMann Goel, IIT Kharagpurinvented Heal-It, a handheld device, slightly larger than a magic marker, that cleans and seals minor cuts and scratches with the press of a button.
- IIT Guwahati student – Megha AgrawalandShikhar Prakash, IIT Madrasinvented an emergency ration for disaster relief that contains a mix of dried porridge, seeds, yogurt culture, and a packet of clean water. The ration can be eaten immediately, or the water packet can be broken within the unopened ration container to create ideal conditions to sprout the seeds and develop the yogurt culture.
- Praveen Venkatesh, IIT GandhinagarandChris Francis, IIT Gandhinagarinvented a voice-controlled system to feed people without the use of their arms. The sleek and inexpensive system lifts food from a rotating tray to the users’ mouth.
Speaking about their experience during this program, Mr. Prabal Vashisht and Ms. Parul Sangwan said,“It feels really good to win the first prize, seating in front of eminent people and talking to them about our invention. The hard work paid off, there were many ups and downs, and we made four prototypes in the process of making this final invention prototype. This program has enabled all of us how to think, develop a product and patent it. We will definitely make people join this program next time.”
Ms. R. Nambilakshmi and Mr. Prathmesh Deshmukh said,“It was an outstanding journey in Invent@IITGN 2019. We decided to work on a non-technical product to solve theproblem of food packaging and made several prototypes before this final design which is completely leak-proof. We got tremendous support and facilities here at IIT Gandhinagar at every stage. It feels great to develop and pitch a commercially viable product in six weeks and winning the prize.”
Ms. Samruddhi Pataskar and Mr. Kalash Nibjiya said,“We are feeling really good to win a prize at Invent@IITGN. We have learnt a lot here. We have met our best mentors in life so far. They have really trained us for so many things in such a short time span like, presentations, technical writing, team-work and patience, which we will take back from here and will remember for a lifetime.”
All the fourteen teams were allocated a budget of Rs. 50,000 for materials, free access to on-campus equipment like laser cutters, 3D printers, machine shops and machinists, to support their inventions. The teams worked directly with Cooper Union Professors Alan Wolf and Eric Lima for the first four weeks alongside IIT Gandhinagar Professors Vineet Vashista, Madhu Vadali and Nithin George. The participants of the programme also receive a stipend of INR 10,000 and a certificate of participation.